Starbucks Canada to close for an afternoon for bias training
Starbucks Canada has decided to follow suit with its partner in the U.S., announcing it will close for an afternoon next month to provide its staff with bias training.
It was last month that a Starbucks in Philadelphia called the police on two black men who hadn't ordered anything.
The incident led to protests and an apology from the company's CEO, who said it was "completely inappropriate" for police to have been called.
The U.S. branch of the company has now settled with the two men and has decided to close for an afternoon later this month to train their staff on racial bias and preventing discrimination.
Starbucks Canada has announced it will do the same for a "portion of the afternoon" on Monday, June 11.
"Our founding values are based on humanity and inclusion," a statement from Starbucks Canada reads. "We believe that everyone deserves to be treated with respect. That's core to being a Starbucks partner and it’s why we're proud to be partners."
Marketing expert Tony Chapman says he doesn't think the Canadian partner was pressured to close as well.
"If they hadn't made that decision I think they'd be sending a signal that they don't suffer these issues... and that's a dangerous message to send," he says.
It is expected to cost the company millions of dollars to close for an afternoon.
"You have a chance that people are thirsty for a coffee and they're going to go across the street and discover that artisan coffee shop... and you might lose that consumer not just for one coffee but for life," Chapman says. "So it's a big bet."
He adds, though, that he believes it was the right decision to make.
"You have to give kudos to Starbucks to say we're going to make this because this is who we are, and our values are as important as the coffee we serve," Chapman says.